Trinamool elects tribal leader as legislature party leader in Tripura

Agartala: Veteran tribal leader and former Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee chief Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, who along with six Congress lawmakers joined the Trinamool Congress in April, was chosen as leader of the TMC legislature party in the state, TMC all India Vice-President Mukul Roy said here on Monday.

Six MLAs, led by former opposition Leader Sudip Roy Barman, resigned from the Congress on April 7 and joined the TMC on June 7 in protest against the Congress' alliance with Left parties ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections.

"Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl has been choosen as leader of the TMC's legislature party in Tripura. TMC's Tripura unit chairman Ratan Chakraborty would communicate this decision to the state assembly speaker soon," Roy told the media.

The six legislators after three-month long parleys were recognised as TMC MLAs by the Tripura Assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath on August 29. The Speaker, citing rules and Supreme Court verdict, refused to give opposition party status to the TMC in the state assembly

"TMC would get the opposition party status soon and the party would seek the position by referring to rules and the court verdict," the TMC parliamentarian said.

Trinamool leader Sudip Roy Barman said the six MLAs comprise the second largest legislature group of the party in India after West Bengal, where the party has been ruling since 2011.

Roy, who came here on Sunday and addressed a gathering in southern Tripura's Udaipur, told the reporters that a large number of CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and Congress members and leaders are keen to join the TMC.

"The political situation in Tripura is same as it was in 2008 in West Bengal. Like Bengal, the ruling CPI-M is rapidly losing its supports from the people. The TMC would come to power in Tripura in the 2018 assembly elections," he added.

Before leaving for Kolkata, Roy said that party supremo Mamata Banerjee would soon constitute a full fledged state committee of the TMC to spearhead the party in the Left-ruled Tripura.

The TMC would organise a rally in Agartala on September 23 as a mark of completion of one month of August 23 violent clashes here in which 24 persons, including five policemen, were injured and 17 private vehicles damaged.

The August 23 trouble occurred after activists of a tribal party -- Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) - took out a rally here demanding a separate state.